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Skarnitzl skittles field with Giant Czech mate

The Cyprus Sunshine Cup opened at Voroklini with some surprising results. The young Czech Jan Skarnitzl and Danish racer Annika Langvad won the elite men's and women's races.

On a warm and sunny day, marathon World Champion Roel Paulissen (Cannondale) and Jan Skarnitzl (Giant) emerged off the front from a group of seven leaders in the men's race.

Unfortunately for Paulissen, on the penultimate lap, number six of seven, he punctured his front tire on a steep downhill section. After a stop in the tech zone, he resumed racing about 20 seconds back, in fourth position, as Skarnitzl lead the race ahead of Jiri Friedl (Merida) and Christoph Soukup (Merida).

Paulissen regained second position and tried to catch the 25-year-old Skarnitzl, but on the final lap, the Belgian suffered another flat. This time, he fell to third spot, with Friedl taking over the top chaser's role.

Emil Lindgren (Rabobank-Giant), who dominated last year, was in the lead group, but with two laps to go, he lost contact when Skarnitzl and Paulissen attacked.

"I'm very happy with the victory because it is my first one in an international race," said Skarnitzl. "Together with Roel, I was speeding up, but then he crashed."

"It was a very long and hard race. In the first half of the race, I had a lot of problems because we are not used to this high intensity. Now I'm looking forward to the Afxentia stage race upcoming weekend."

Friedl, who finished second behind his Czech teammate, said he felt much better than last week. "I was very tired because at home it's so cold, and here it is very warm. I needed a lot of energy today, and so I'm surprised about my race and the result. I think next week it will be better. No rain, that's perfect."

Paulissen said he was ok with his performance if not the result, despite the flats. "The whole race I was relaxed and never overdid it," he said. "Skarnitzl rode at a pretty good speed, but then on the downhill, the air went out of my front tire, and I crashed. The same thing happened on the last lap."

Langvad wins women's race

The women's race was decided on the first of five laps. Annika Langvad (HMTBK) took the lead, riding away from everyone else. Janka Stevkova (CKEpic-Dohnany) didn't try to follow the Danish student, and Langvad extended her lead up to more than three minutes ahead of Stevkova and the 18-year-old Ekaterina Anoshina of Russia.

In the final lap, Langvad's likely victory seemed in danger. After the tech zone, the Danish woman noticed she was losing a lot of air in her front tire.

"I knew I had a good advantage, but in spite of that, I was nervous," she said after winning.

"I knew that I am in a good shape. The winter training was quite good," said Langvad. "I felt good, but in second lap, I crashed and then realized that I should set the speed down. It's my first time on Cyprus and it's wonderful to be here."

Her nervousness was not unfounded. She finished only two minutes ahead of Janka Stevkova, who was able to drop Anoshina in the last lap.

"I felt very good, but I only wanted to test myself," said Stevkova. "It was a hard course and I'm not used to the heat. I'm really satisfied with my second place. When Annika left us alone I didn't try to follow because I think it's not good to go full gas in the very first race."

The Russian Anoshina was the biggest surprise of the race. She was 17th at the Junior World Championships in Canberra, and today, she beat German Melanie Spath (Cycleways) and last year's winner Alexandra Engen (Rothaus-Cube), who finished fifth.

"I'm surprised by this race," said Anoshina. "I never thought I'd be able to compete with these women in my first elite competition."

Last year's winner, Alexandra Engen, commented on her race.  "I gave it all it and emptied all my reserves. It was a tough day at the office and I must say I'm not totally unhappy," said the 22-year-old Swede. "I am not yet at the same level as I was in 2009. And I have had some minor problems with my back."

Full Results

Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jan Skarnitzl (Cze) Giant Team - Czech2:14:06
2Jiri Friedl (Cze) Giant Team - Czech0:00:21
3Roel Paulissen (Bel) Belgium National Team0:00:38
4Christoph Soukup (Aut) Merida Racing0:01:08
5Frank Schotman (Ned)0:01:49
6Henrique Avancini (Bra) ISD Team0:02:37
7Lindgren Emil (Swe) Giant Rabobank0:03:23
8Maxim Gogolev (Rus) Corratec Team0:03:55
9Alexey Medvedev (Rus)0:04:12
10Thomas Litscher (Swi)0:04:49
11Stefan Sahm (Ger) Bulls Team0:05:23
12Bjorn Brems (Bel) Belgium National Team0:05:55
13Nicolas Vermeulen (Bel) Belgium National Team0:08:09
14Ilias Periklis (Gre) Greek National Team0:08:10
15Klaus Nielsen (Den) HMTBK0:09:03
16Jiri Hude?Ek (Cze)0:09:32
17Anton Gogolev (Rus) Corratec Team0:09:49
18Platt Karl (Ger) Bulls Team0:09:50
19Konny Looser (Swi)0:10:01
20Kohei Yamamoto (Jpn) Look Team0:10:38
21Ivan Seledkov (Rus)0:10:57
22Shlomi Haimy (Isr)0:11:31
23Anders Ljungberg (Swe)0:11:48
24Timofey Ivanov (Rus)0:12:37
25Giger Fabian (Swi)0:12:59
26Artem Orlov (Rus)0:13:34
27Thomas Dietsch (Fra)0:13:58
28Evgeniy Nikolaev (Rus)0:15:05
29Alexander Blomqvist (Swe)0:15:23
30Fredrik Edin (Swe)0:16:55
31Nicolas Jeanten (Ita)0:18:54

One lap down
#Rider Name (Country) Team
32Ondrej Cink (Cze)
33Ivan Smirnov (Rus)
34Nicola Rohrbach (Swi)
35Magnus Darvell (Swe)
36Pierre-Yves Facomprez (Fra)
37Marios Athanasiadis (Cyp)
38Georgios Fattas (Cyp)
39Mattias Nilsson (Swe)
40Stepan Stephanov (Rus)
41Lars Bleckur (Swe)
42Evgeniy Vitmanovsky (Rus)
43Sherlock Ryan (Irl)

Two laps down
#Rider Name (Country) Team
44Christopher Andrews (GBr)
45Pascal Hossay (Bel)
46Michael Hutter (Swi)
47Claus Crone (Den)
48Henrik Andersen (Den)
49Lee Williams (GBr)
50Simon Tarp Jensen (Den)
51Ivan Rybarik (Cze)
52Alexey Leontyev (Rus)
53Jens Gorm Hansen (Den)
54Vlad Neroznaks (Lat)

Three laps down
#Rider Name (Country) Team
55Bohme Tim (Ger)
56Georgios Pattes-Toumanis (Gre)
57Anatoly Gavrilov (Rus)
58Michalis Kittis (Cyp)
59Kiriakos Skettos (Cyp)
60Kasper Busk (Den)
61Paul Beales (GBr)
62Daum Philipp Maximilian (Ger)

Four laps down
#Rider Name (Country) Team
63Nicolas Tachopoulos (Gre)
64Timotheos Skettos (Cyp)
65Dries Govaerts (Bel)
66Dror Pekatch (Isr)
67Lasse Brun Pedersen (Den)

Five laps down
#Rider Name (Country) Team
68Bjarke Refslund (Den)
69Alexander Theupir (Cyp)
70Loukas Theodorou (Cyp)
71Matthias Wengelin (Swe)

Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Annika Langvad (Den) HMTBK1:58:24
2Janka Stevkova (Svk) CK Epic Dohnany0:02:00
3Ekaterina Anoshina (Rus) Primorskiy District0:03:02
4Melanie Spath (Ger) Cycleways0:06:15
5Alexandra Engen (Swe) Rothaus-Cube MTB Team0:08:45
6Githa Michiels (Bel) Belian National Team0:09:09
7Suzanne Clarke (GBr) Great Britian0:09:46
8Julie Krasniak (Fra) Team Look0:12:03
9Yana Klishina (Rus) Dinamo Moscow0:16:06
10Elena Gogoleva (Rus)0:16:39
11Nicoletta De Jager (Ned) Rijwielpaleis Mountainbike Team
12Vanessa Mosch (Ger)0:17:30
13Maaike Polspoel (Bel) Belian National Team0:25:58
14Anne Terpstra (Ned)0:26:43
15Idit Shub Isr) City Cycling Club0:27:42

One lap down
#Rider Name (Country) Team
16Irina Malysheva (Rus)
17Nadine Rieder (Ger)

Two laps down
#Rider Name (Country) Team
18Ekaterina Petrova (Rus)
19Darya Zaytseva (Rus) Karofilm
20Elena Petrova (Lat) Omomoia

Junior men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Anton Stephanov (Rus)1:26:54
2Artem Alexandrov (Rus) Primorskiy District0:02:22
3Egor Kropachev (Rus) Primorskiy District0:03:12
4Jonas Pedersen (Den) HMTBK0:05:10
5Yury Lebedev (Rus) Primorskiy District0:05:25
6Ilia Bykov (Rus)0:06:17
7Mark Kuyan (Rus) Primorskiy District0:07:26
8Zakhar Bulatov (Rus) Primorskiy District0:08:16
9Nikita Chubukov (Rus) KAROFILM0:09:13
10Ben Roff (GBr)0:09:34
11Ilya Dushakov (Rus)0:12:01

One lap down
#Rider Name (Country) Team
12Abdrey Shirobokov (Rus) Dinamo Moscow
13Alexey Solovyev (Rus) Dinamo Moscow
14Eirinaios Koutsiou (Cyp) Irakleitos
15Leontios Katsouris (Cyp)
16Mamas Kyriacou (Cyp) DOPI

Two laps down
#Rider Name (Country) Team
17Angelos Kyriacou (Cyp) DOPI

Three laps down
#Rider Name (Country) Team
18Sergey Lahanov (Rus) Dinamo Moscow
DNFAlexey Krylov (Rus) Primorskiy District
DNFEgor Komin (Rus) Primorskiy District
DNFAlexey Mikhalin (Rus) Primorskiy District


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Sue George is an editor at Cyclingnews.  She coordinates all of the site's mountain bike race coverage and assists with the road, 'cross and track coverage.

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